Notes on "BLOOD & BEAUTY"

"BLOOD & BEAUTY"  is a 24-hour portrait in photographs of a unique New York City neighborhood, the Meat Packing District of Manhattan. Once the thriving belly of the metropolis, today it is a stunning panorama of change, a snazzy crossroads of grit, glamour--and aggressive  gentrification.

These pictures tell the story of people from two worlds who lived for more than a decade in edgy coexistence--the toughened meat packers (shadowed by citizens of the night), and their new, high style neighbors, who put the Meat Packing District on the tourist map. The frenzy for style and pricey real estate had started devouring the district by the last 1990's and as of today, it has pushed almost all of the meat packing businesses from their historic homes. A few plants are still holding out on old agricultural land grants, lending a little atmosphere to the glamour. Yet  it's not clear that the restaurants and boutiques can survive a tumbling economy, as the meat packing businesses did during previous economic down turns.

What remains now of the old, notorious place are the cobblestoned streets, along with the images here that are an elegy for people who worked and played, just for a time, as part of a diverse--and entertaining--urban community.